How to Spend a Day in Stunning Bergen Norway

Located on the country’s stunning west coast, the city of Bergen Norway is a must-visit for all travelers in the area.

Bergen has some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, including Mount Fløyen and the Fløibanen funicular, as well as fjords and a historic fish market.

While several days could easily be spent in Bergen, much can also be explored in a single day.

bergen norway

This could be useful for those on Norway road trips that may have limited time to spend in the cities they visit or if you’re visiting from a cruise ship.

How to Get to Bergen

You may find that it’s less expensive to fly into Oslo.

If you have an extra day to spare, consider flying into Oslo and taking the Bergensbanen, a stunning 7-hour train ride from Oslo to Bergen.

This way, you’ll pretty much cover the entire country between trains and boats!

And, when choosing a cabin onboard the ship, consider the season.

Bergensbanen train

It’s light all night in the summer so if you don’t mind the Midnight Sun or want peer out the window for puffins, you’ll love an outside cabin.

What is Bergen Norway like?

Friendlier and more welcoming than Oslo, this underrated, colorful city is a Scandinavian Seattle!

Pack an umbrella and prepare for quirky cafes and beautiful scenery.

With the mountains and sea just a few strides away, this unique town is a walker’s paradise and a music-lover’s stomping grounds.

I’ve been to a lot of places in my life, but Norway is by far the most beautiful.

View from Mount Floyen
View from Mount Floyen

The landscape is unreal with mountains and glaciers that are so big they seem fake.

The waterfalls are incredible and you can hike up fjords all day long without feeling like you’re going to run out of things to see.

It’s not just about the stunning scenery either. You can find some great food too!

All those fresh fish make for some fantastic meals as does all the open air cafes where people sit outside playing a game of chess or reading a book while sipping on hot coffee.

Here are my top recommendations for a day spent in Bergen, Norway.

Things to Do in Bergen

Mount Floyen

The Fløibanen funicular is one of the best-known attractions in all of Norway and for good reason.

Floibanen is centrally located in Bergen, just minutes away from the fish market and Bryggen wharf.

Floibanen funicular

The Fløibanen funicular takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen, 320 meters above sea level, and takes 5 to 8 minutes while allowing some of the most breathtaking views of the city.

The Floibanen funicular is an absolute must for any time spent in Bergen but there is plenty else to do at the top of Mount Fløyen.

There are many different hiking trails available that can be done in as little as an hour and a half, as well as a few places to eat and drink.

Reward yourself with an insta-worthy photo or a waffle and coffee from the 1925-built Fløien Folke Restaurant at the top.

Fisketorget

After returning from Mount Fløyen, be sure to stop by the fish market, Fisketorget.

Fisketorget

The market was a historical center for fish trade in Norway and the architecture and cultural importance makes it well worth a stop.

If you have a little extra time, wandering through the harbor is also a great idea.

Tour the Fjords

The fjords are one of the most iconic parts of Norway and Bergen is a great starting base for a tour.

From Bergen, tours of a few hours are available, which allow you to see the stunning sites while also having time to explore the rest of Bergen.

Explore the Bryggen Wharf District

Step back in time as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bryggen
Bryggen

Characterized by its wooden houses and well-preserved buildings, the Wharf District represents an important European trading port and honors the history of the Middle Ages.

Explore the colorful wooden galleries and peruse the shops.

If you feel a little lost, The Bryggen Museum is a good place to start!

Be sure to wander behind the shops too — this maze of wooden buildings is where you’ll get your best pictures.

Discover Bergen’s Architectural Gems

Take a trip out to Tubakuba, a modern marvel of a mountain cabin designed by architecture students at the Bergen School of Architecture; or better yet, rent it out for the weekend!

For a more luxe tour, visit Damsgård Manor, an elegant 18th-century summer house with superior Rococo architecture and exquisite gardens.

To cap off your mini-architecture tour, pop by the fish market in town to see the captivating modern building designed by Eder Biesel Arkitekter.

Wander the streets

As Bergen is possibly the most photogenic city in Norway.

Simply walking the streets to appreciate the architecture and culture of the city is a great way to spend some extra time in the afternoon.

Keep your camera handy as you walk because there are so many things to capture in a photograph.

Where to Eat in Bergen Norway

To escape the tourist traps, try Enhjørningen Fish Restaurant (The Unicorn Fish Restaurant) for stellar seafood or Bryggen Tracteursted on the Wharf for local cuisine and tapas in a rustic and historic social setting.

bergen norway

If you prefer a bit of edgy charm, head to Apollon Platebar, half record store, half brewpub for a pre- or post-dinner beer.

Pingvinen

Pingvinen, which is known for its extensive beer list, is a favorite among visitors to Bergen.

It offers traditional Norwegian cuisine, like stew and meatballs, at a price that’s much more affordable than other places.

Fish Market

Since you will likely be visiting the fish market anyway, why not pick up lunch there?

The fish market offers fish, seafood, and fresh fruit – perfect for an afternoon snack or quick lunch.

It’s also an opportunity to directly support the locals.

Coffee in Bergen

If you’re a coffee snob and want a chic blue-velvet-boothed cafe, head on over to the award winning Kaffemisjonen.

Or for a more quirky experience, sip your latte underneath a wacky pick umbrella, live music, and string lights at the uber funky Barbarista.

Where to Stay in Bergen

Scandic Strand

Scandic Strand is one of the most centrally located hotels in Bergen.

It’s located at the fish market, overlooking the entire city, with all of main attractions – including Fløibanen funicular – within close proximity.

There’s a restaurant and bar inside, though I would recommend venturing to another restaurant for dinner, and they offer a breakfast that beats most hotel breakfasts. Plus, free wifi is included!

For those with more time to spend in Bergen

Bergen is a lovely city with so much to explore and even in a day, there is much to be explored. If you have more time, there’s more close by that you must see!

Visit Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

About 5 hours away from Bergen is one of Norway’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions, Pulpit Rock.

You can see it from miles away, towering over the Lysefjord, with its spectacular view of the water below.

With jaw dropping views of Norwegian coastline from all sides, it’s hard for anyone not to fall in love with this stunning piece of nature.

This Preikestolen hike is absolutely worth your time!

Overnight trip to Fjaerland

If you have more than a day to spend in the area, definitely consider taking an overnight trip to the quiet eden of Fjaerland.

Time stands still in this small-world town, and glaciers meet fjords.

Fjaerland
Fjaerland

From old-fashioned wooden hotels, to endless book stores (seriously this place is THE quaint Norwegian book town), to woodsy cabins and small-town charm, this place is off the main tourist route and well worth a retreat.

It’s about 4 hours away from Bergen, but totally doable!

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